Prince Edward Island’s new Tory-led minority government tabled its first budget on June 25 — projecting a $1.8-million surplus while providing tax relief for households and businesses across the province.
Restaurants Canada is pleased to report that the 2019-20 P.E.I. budget includes the following good news for the foodservice sector, reflecting some of the policy recommendations made in the lead up to the April 23 election:
- The Island’s small business tax rate will be dropping by half a percentage point to 3.0 per cent as of Jan. 1, 2020, which will make New Brunswick the only province with a lower rate east of Manitoba.
- The basic personal exemption — the amount on which no income taxes must be paid — will be increasing by about $900 and the low-income threshold will go up to $18,000 from $17,000 on Jan. 1, 2020. This will help working Islanders at every income level keep more of their money, which will mean more disposable income for dining at restaurants.
- While the budget will be slightly adding to the Island’s existing debt, the projected surplus should help reduce the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 30.7 per cent, which will keep it moving in the right direction. This will allow the province to continue to lower taxes and support the business community without incurring large deficits that will exacerbate the Island’s debt burden.
Budget built on cross-party consensus
The 2019-20 budget is the first to be delivered by a minority government on Prince Edward Island.
Finance Minister Darlene Compton said the priorities outlined in the budget bring together the best ideas the government heard from all three parties in the legislature.
Since forming government in the spring, the Tories hold 12 of the Island’s 27 seats, while the Greens have eight and the Liberals have six. One seat is still vacant, as a byelection must be held in Charlottetown-Hillsborough following the death of Green candidate Josh Underhay during the provincial election campaign.
Calling the legislation “history-making”, Minister Compton expressed confidence that the budget will pass with the support of all three parties.
Next steps for Restaurants Canada
Restaurants Canada looks forward to continuing to work with Premier Dennis King, his Executive Council members and all members of the P.E.I. legislature toward further changes that would positively impact operations for the Island’s restaurateurs.
If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-387-5649 ext. 5000.